MINA - Hundreds of thousands of Hajj pilgrims from all over the world started moving into the tent city of Mina early on Wednesday night after performing the Tawaf Al-Qudum (Tawaf of Arrival) around the Holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
As the night wore on Wednesday, all roads and highways leading into the vast plains of Mina, located seven km from the Grand Mosque, were filled with pilgrims, most of whom traveled in buses and other vehicles while some others on foot. Retracing the noble tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the pilgrims will spend the day and night on Thursday, which is known as the Tarwiyah Day, in Mina. On the first day of Haj rituals, they will engage in supplications and making final preparations for the Standing (wuqoof) at Arafat, the most important pillar of Haj, marking the climax of the annual pilgrimage, on Friday.
One million pilgrims will converge in Mina on the Day of Tarwiyah, marking the beginning of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj. This was for the first time foreign pilgrims are allowed to perform Hajj since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic before the Hajj of 2020. The Saudi authorities allowed limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform the annual pilgrimage during the last two Hajj seasons that held in the unprecedented pandemic situation and travel restrictions.
Only those pilgrims under the age of 65 who took at least two doses of coronavirus vaccine are allowed to perform Hajj this year. The authorities said that wearing masks is mandatory for the pilgrims inside the Grand Mosque. A total of 850,000 foreign pilgrims and 150000 domestic pilgrims are performing Hajj this year. In 2019, about 2.5 million pilgrims from within the Kingdom and abroad performed the annual pilgrimage.
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